You could make a strong case that the most vital part of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this brief guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about hearing aid batteries so that you can get the most out of your hearing aids.
How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
Hearing aids take a unique type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers small holes on the top of the battery. Once the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, causing a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. Once the battery is active, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no impact in conserving its lifespan.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standardized sizes, marked with standard number and color codes. The four sizes, from biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid uses only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will tell you which size you need. Bear in mind that the numbers and colors above are manufacturer independent, but that manufacturers oftentimes add additional letters or numbers to its packaging.
Hearing Aid Battery Life
Hearing aid battery life is dependent on many factors. Many patients get up to one week of life out of a battery if they use the hearing aid for 12 or more hours a day, but this will fluctuate according to:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The degree of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for example, require more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can minimize battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and will help you find the proper balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily prolong the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. Just after you remove the sticker to activate the battery, wait 5-7 minutes before inserting the battery in your hearing aids. By removing the sticker and laying the battery flat side up for a few minutes, air is able to properly activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A couple of other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coinage, keys, or other metal objects that could short the battery.
- When the hearing aid isn’t being used, turn it off and store it with the battery door open. If you don’t intend on using your hearing aids for a prolonged period of time, remove the batteries entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; nonetheless, fresher batteries are preferable because each year that goes by decreases the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This rule is so important that the next section is dedicated to the issue.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there proposing that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only false; it produces the opposite effect!
The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will delay the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the adverse effects of moisture will produce far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment allows micro condensation to form in an on the battery, leading to corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Consequently, for maximum performance, simply keep your batteries away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store at room temperature.
Maintaining Your Hearing Aid Battery Supply
Once you identify how long your batteries last, on average, you’ll want to keep a month’s supply. If your batteries last 1 week, and you make use of 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using approximately 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder level, and once you deplete your stock down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the price savings linked with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts a bit longer than one month. If you’re not sure, we are more than happy to help you put together a system and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Talk to one of our hearing specialists today!